Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Are We A Superior Being's Practical Joke?

I drop in regularly at Jason's Beach Resort to see what he is up to. His most recent post, titled "Religion," lists some questions of his that, unanswered to his satisfaction, have caused him to characterize himself as 'agnostic.'

I know how Jason feels.

I started questioning what I was taught in Sunday School when I was about eleven years old. Some things just made no sense to me. Here are a few:

In Exodus 20:5, it says: "...for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me..."

That never made sense to me. I understood that when my parents were very angry with me, often with good reason, they might spank me or ground me for my transgression. Then, that would be the end of it. One transgression, one punishment. Simple.

But, compared to God, my parents were imperfect. The bible said so. Because of Adam's and Eve's sampling of the forbidden fruit, all humankind fell from God's grace. Yet, my parents seemed more humane in exercising their parental responsibilities (in my eyes) than the God described in the bible. He who I thought was supposed to be perfect, kind, loving and consistent, seemed instead to be cruel and vindictive.

And what about the whole original sin thing? Should the entire human race suffer, for ever and ever, because Adam and Eve were curious? Wasn't curiosity a part of their God-given nature? If God wanted robots, why didn't he create robots, instead of thinking (however imperfect the thinking might be) human beings.

And why are some people born ugly? Or stupid? Or predisposed to various aberrancies like voluntary submission to the state, listening to Hip Hop, or eating bubble-gum-flavoured ice cream?

Here's a real puzzler: Why is the sewage pipe so close to the playground? If you don't know what I mean by that, ask mommy or daddy, or an older sibling.

Another biggie question: Why does excrement smell like, well... shit?

And what's with dust, anyway? Is it absolutely necessary? It gets all over and into everything. Couldn't that have been left off the creation checklist?

What about insects? Ugly, creepy, disease-bearing things. Yuck. Maybe you, in your air-conditioned and air-tight home don't have much experience with flies, mosquitoes and other six-legged irritants, but have you ever watched what animals have to put up with during fly season? I feel so sorry for them.

And parasites... even that word makes my skin crawl. Was it really necessary to create a slew of nasty, ugly, voracious hitch-hikers who thrive at the expense of an often helpless host?

I had no answers when I was eleven. I have no answers today.

Maybe this little verse of mine says it best:

No More 'Whys'

In this life that I live,
With each day that goes by,
My most frequent utterance:
Invariably, 'why?'

In this life that I live,
As my passing draws nigh,
So much pain, so much sorrow,
Incredulously, 'why?'

In this life that I live,
When I finally die
My headstone will say,
What else: "No more 'whys'"

And that's all I have time for today.



  1. I've given your blog several days to sink in and the more I consider your urgent search for "why", I have come up with my answer to this universal question of what is life and why does a loving God permit all this abuse which man is free to perpetuate.
    I believe that man has created God in his own likeness, not the reverse which organized religion teaches. Curious man needs a source for all his seeking, and he gives his creation,"God" the gift of all-knowing, all presence, all loving and anything else he would like to have for himself. And of course one of these "omnies" is his recognition of his creation, to be what he experiences in his own life, an all loving father, who can help or hinder our lives by the whim of his earthly limited will, as at times our earthly fathers seem to do.
    Man created God, and all the sacred texts which were passed down through the ages. The further man gets from these origins, the more he is willing to accept the mystique of his creation, and its otherliness. Grow up and realize man's imagination is his greatest attribute,so don't be afraid to perceive the unknown, as being a part of the freedom we have given ourselves,and stop wasting time pursuing an inner voice which is supposed to turn on the spiritual light in our being. We can be as spiritual as we can imagine. Stop the searching for what is already with you. You and every man who seeks answers have your creative ability.Create the God who will make you more responsible to others. Go in peace, and may your God bless you.

  2. I have examined the issue from north, south, east and west. What I actually believe about the existence of God varies from time to time. On any given day, I can argue either side of the issue with conviction.

    Am I am a mamby-pamby, contradictory, mass of indecisive tissue? Or someone who simply enjoys a good riddle?

    I'll take the latter.

    Whatever the truth is, I am happy to be alive and enjoy every day that I am here.

    Now if I only had a yacht, a Maybach, a second home on the Riviera and...